Here’s the latest update from CAAT’s Christian Network.
Arms dealers at Church House: never again
This month, in the space of three weeks there will have been two conferences sponsored by some of the world’s largest arms companies at Church House, which also houses the administrative headquarters of the Church of England.
The Church House conference centre is run by a charity, whose president is the Archbishop of Canterbury and whose council includes “representatives of national church institutions”.
Hosting such events supports and legitimises the arms industry and the terrible destruction it causes. It helps sustain the status quo of huge military spending, at the cost of addressing real human needs.
Please take action now:
- Sign our online letter to Archbishop Justin Welby asking him to ensure that Church House conference centre never again hosts such events.
- Take part in a Silent Vigil as the arms trade conference commences tomorrow, Wednesday 9 July: meet at 10.45am outside Methodist Central Hall.
Join Quakers in a meeting for worship outside the arms fair in Farnborough next week
Farnborough International is best known for its civilian airshow, but its main purpose is the combined arms fair and civil aerospace exhibition. This is a shop window for the world’s arms dealers, where buyers from repressive regimes come to choose weapons.
At the arms fair this year are:
- Military buyers from unstable or authoritarian regimes: in 2012, Algeria, Bahrain, Indonesia, Libya and Saudi Arabia sent military delegations.
- BAE Systems whose armoured vehicles were used to support the repression of democracy protests in Bahrain.
- Rosoboronexport, the main weapons supplier to Syria’s Assad.
- Ukrainian and Russian arms companies touting weapons side by side.
- Israeli arms companies, despite Israel’s recent aggression in Gaza.
The family-friendly airshow and ‘Futures Day’ event allow weapons manufacturers a unique PR opportunity. Quakers and other local Christians will be meeting for worship on the last day of the Airshow, on Sunday 20 July at 4pm. The meeting is open to all.
Travel directions and more information, including a map, are available online.
CAAT Christian Network Day of Prayer
On Sunday 7 September, join Christians across the UK in prayer and action for an end to the arms trade. CAAT Christian Network’s annual Day of Prayer is an opportunity to reflect on alternatives to profiting from weapons and the destruction they cause. It is a chance to engage our communities in prayer and action for positive alternatives.
This year, as CAAT launches its new campaign, “Arms to Renewables”, calling for the vast public resources which support the arms trade to be redirected to growing renewable energy, we will be reflecting on what “swords into ploughshares” means today.
If you would like to take part, please email events(at)caat*org*uk to order a pack.